Crawford House





From the Historical Perspective: The Crawford family presence dates from the late 18th / early 19th century in old northern Cape May County. The Crawford family members owned numerous properties in the area including both vacant land and lots with structures on them. Eleazer Crawford, Sr. bought "this year's feature house" from the Johnson family for his son to live in. The original structure was most likely built by the Johnson family as it traces back to the time when the Johnson family owned the land. Eleazer Crawford, Sr. owned property at the landing-a storefront. His son, Eleazer Crawford, Jr., did not own land but took over the business and became a successful businessman in the area.

In the 19th century it was common for wealthy families to own numerous properties around the village which they rented out to worker families. These families included workers from the shipyards, shops, and farms and sawmills. At their peak in the 1880's, the shipyards employed over 150 people. The Eleazer Crawford Tenant House, or the Crawford Tenant Cottage as it was sometimes called, was one of these houses.

Newspaper accounts of the day included the following references to the Crawford House: "William Treadway has moved from the Parker cottage to the Crawford Tenant cottage" (Star of the Cape - 1879), and "Eleazer Crawford has a new roof put on his tenant house" (CM County Gazette - 1881). And in fact, the name on the 1872 Beers Map is Mrs. Crandall-a tenant at the time.

In the late 1960's Ray and Jane Dixon moved the house from across the street, adjacent to the old 1 bay fire house, to its current location. M. Jones House Movers of Leesburg, N.J. performed the move. M. Jones's son, Marvin and his wife, Connie, currently reside in the Dennisville Historic District in the Mary Dalton House just down the street from the Crawford House. A more modern rancher now sits on the Crawford House's original site. The Crawford House was transformed from a standard I-house configuration with a rear lean-to/shed roofed addition, to a saltbox by the Dixons.